Burridge has been doing his "365" residencies since about this time last year. Basically it takes DJs Gamall and Carl Craig's "Demon Days" concept one step further. Instead of travelling from city to city with a themed party, Burridge actually moves to the city he has a residency in for 1-2 mos. giving him time to adjust to the local tastes as well as allowing him new collaboration possibilities with local producers. This ad hoc A&R work from Burridge has provided ample fodder for his brand new Almost Anonymous imprint and many of the tracks selected for his globe trekking new 3xCD Balance 012. Read my review of the new Burridge Balance mix on Resident Advisor.
I will say this here that the collection is very long and disk two is far too unfocused and messy to call recommendable but disks one and three are as good as anything you are going to hear in 2007. Plus he seems like a genuinely nice guy. Here's not only a video of him performing in Romania this summer but we also got five honest and insightful answers from an artist we wanted to get to know a little bit better here at 24 Hour Party People.
You've obviously witnessed a lot in the last 20 plus years of DJing, but what do you think of the state of dance music and the scene today and where do you see it going?
It's fantastic. Obviously certain clubs and sometimes cities go through some sort of decline within their dance music scenes but don't forget the reverse is also happening. New promoters start nights. New crowds start looking for something different than the local bar playing radio hits and things start to happen again. I'm actually playing a bunch of new places during my US tour for the Balance CD and all I hear are good things about them. Expansion and contraction are a natural part of this scene. I like the fact that I read recently that Hip Hop last year was in decline for the first time. It's had a grip on clubs and bars for far too long and hasn't always left much room for any other types of music to be played. Club owners need to make money and that has been the easy option. I feel dance music if it continues to be produced at such a creative and high level is only going to increase once again in popularity in the US . It's also important that it feels like something cool. If your older brother or sister (or mum and dad!) went out and were in to it this has the tendency to push the next generation(s) towards something different but that cycle comes around again too. We needed a generation of people who went back to listening to bands in clubs and bars. This pushes the music back underground to be rediscovered by kids who are cool and on the cutting edge and looking for something less obvious. Dance music became very very commercial and I think this, while benefiting the cheesier end of the DJ spectrum, has a negative effect and pushed other people away.
As for where I currently see things going I'm seeing the return of tribal grooves in music that's coming out and I'm being drawn towards. A part of the minimal scene has evolved into amazing tracks that actually have some balls but still retain a trippy, layered and melodic elements within them. There's also a wonderfully deep feel to some of these tracks and it's been great to see people accepting a ride throughout the night energy wise. I haven't felt the need to keep thumping out the energy track after track. I think people know the depth is there to accentuate the more rocking parts of the night.
Okay, enough about that. Let's turn to the present. You're slated to launch the twelfth installment of EQ's "Balance" series, as a highly anticipated three disc album. Tell us a little about the album, beginning with how you became involved in the project.
The involvement was simple. I bet Tom [Pandzic] (label head from Balance ) that I could pull off a 540 on my snowboard off a huge kicker. He said if I nailed it he would let me mix Balance 12. After I got out of the hospital he took pity on me and let me make it anyway which was kind of him.
I spent much time and effort on these mixes. I wanted to put out something that not only represented me as a club DJ but would be a mix that people would grow into and want to listen to more than a few times. I have a problem with DJ mixes and it's that they always seem to become dull very quickly. They aren't made with any passion, care or thought and are simply a vehicle to garner press and a little attention for that particular DJ. The best mixes I hear are from DJ's who aren't on the radar yet and spend time thinking what they really want to say.
I have been thinking about CD1 for a while and kept a mental note of tracks I'd put on there if I were to do a mix. This is the reason the track selection isn't full of brand new or unreleased music. I read a few negative comments on chat rooms from individuals who after reading the track listing (having not actually heard the mix) decided to criticise it (their right, of course) for this reason. In answer to this I'd say it's a CD that if I were to attempt to make it using only upfront music wouldn't happen or be anywhere near as good as I feel it turned out. It's hard to create something with flow and the particular vibe I chose as you're at the mercy of what's been made or released around the time you are compiling. It would have just ended up as a collection of unreleased music that a few months later would actually become released music and then have to stand the test of time or not be listened to ever again as a mix.
As I said earlier there's a lot of thought put into these mixes which is why I went back to my record collection. I wanted records to make sense of each other, to build and flow and create something special not only between each track but also between each disc. It's easy to join records together neatly these days especially with programs like Ableton so I worked hard on finding music that when overlapped in the mix created something new and changed the energy of each track as an individual piece of music. There are a lot of long mixes as well as tracks I've weaved in and out and I hope it's something the listener will start to grow into and notice over time. This, for me, is the best mix I've made since Craig Richards and I released Tyrant.
What is your favorite thing about this album now that it's complete? What was the experience like putting it together?
I went through many different emotions when compiling, most of all frustration at the ambivalence of labels and producers to giving out their music. I don't quite understand why labels don't wan their music to generate money for the label and producers. We were pretty lucky with licensing though. Only the Jose Padilla track proved hard to get clearance for but in the end Tom [Pandzic] went round Jose's house and threatened to rub his knuckles on Jose's wives head until Jose got the record company to let us use it. She now has a bald spot but we got the track.
Okay, so let's chat briefly about the "Balance 012" tour before we let you go. You really seem to be blanketing North America as part of this effort, is there a reason for the emphasis on this area of the world?
I'm actually blanketing the whole of the world. I haven't released all the tour dates yet! North America is a very important part of the world and still has so much more potential. I love playing there and this CD is just a good excuse to stay for 2 1/2 months!
What is on tap for Lee Burridge in 2008?
I hope to put together my own camp at next year. I'm thinking of doing 365 again towards the end of next year in totally different cities and will be continuing to release tracks on my own label Almost Anonymous. After the Balance CD tour comes to an end around Miami WMC I really want to have a few weeks off and go snowboarding.
Balance 12 mixed and compiled by Lee Burridge is out October 9, 2007
- RIPPERTON - 10A
- EFDEMIN - BERGWEIN
- LAZY FAT PEOPLE - CLUB SILENCIO
- KOLLEKTIVE TURMSTRASSE - TRISTESSE
- DETTMANN/KLOCK - DAWNING
- JACEK SIENKIEWICZ – GOOD LUCK
- FERRER AND SYDENHAM INC. - THE BACK DOOR
- HUG - THE ANGRY GHOST
- H.O.S.H. - STEPPENWOLF
- VIEWERS - BLANK IMAGES
- MARCUS WOGULL - DRAGON LOOP
- JOSE PADILLA - ADIOS AYER [PAUL DALEY mix]
- ONUR OZER - ORION
- HENRY & DENIS - CATABOLISM [EFDEMIN mix]
- PHEEK - MAGDA HAD A LITTLE TROLL [GURTZ mix]
- PHAGE & DANIEL DREIER - ELEVATOR
- REYNOLD - BUMPER
- DAVIDE SQUILLACE AND ALFA ROMERO - WE SCICK
- SUPER FLU - LADY IN PINK
- BABYFORD AND MARK BROOM - BUBBLEBATH
- BROKE - OVER THAT
- TIGERSKIN - PLAGIAT
- ONUR OZER - RED CABARET [OVERTURE]
- SPIDER & BIRD - PARIS
- JORGE SAVORETTI – CLARIDAD
- MARTIN BUTTRICH - PROGRAMMER
- TOMAS ANDERSSON - DUBBEL PROBLEMATIK
- H-MAN - 51 POLAND STREET [EXTRAWELT tool]
- LUCA BACCHETTI - ROLLING BROOKLYN
- GABRIEL ANANDA - TROMMELSTUNDE
- ALEXI DELANO & XPANSUL - ANTIOXIDATION
- REJECTED - CLICHE
- AUTOTUNE – DIRTY [WOODY mix]
- PAUL RITCH - SAMBA
- ALEXI DELANO & XPANSUL - VEGETOTHERAPY
- ALLAN BANFORD - WHITE GEISHAS
- PAR GRINDVAK - DO US APART
- BUKADDOOR AND FISHBECK - POLTERABEND
- PATRICE BAUMEL - JUST ELECTRICITY